Monday, September 19, 2016

How To Get Every Foundation Shade Imaginable Ft. The NEW NYX Pro Foundation Mixers (Review, Swatches & Demo)

If you read my last blog post on some $3 liquid lipsticks that I picked up, then you probably already know how excited I am that such a mainstream brand like NYX has taken a professional product like foundation mixers and brought it to the masses. In my opinion, this is a product that can be very useful for people who don't necessarily want to buy three or four shades of the same foundation to transition them through the seasons. Likewise, this is perfect for makeup artists on a budget that can only afford to stock a few foundation shades in their kit. Regardless of your situation, I knew how beneficial a product like this could be and decided to put it to the test, not only on myself, but also on my clients as well, just so I could bring you the most thorough review possible.

Swatches of NYX Pro Foundation Mixers in White, Olive, Warmth, and Deep
Results of Mixing the EX1 Foundation in F200 in a 1:1 Rstio With Each of the NYX Pro Foundation Mixers
How To Create A Realistic Skintone Using the NYX Pro Foundation Mixers

What are the NYX Pro Foundation Mixers?
The NYX Pro Foundation Mixers are liquids tinted with pigment in a squeeze tube packaging. They are meant to adjust the shade, undertone, or finish of the foundation to meet your needs. This product currently is available in six different "tones"--opalescent, luminous, white, olive, warmth, and deep. These mixers are already available for purchase on NYX's website and Ulta for $10 each.

What are the claims on this product?
Unfortunately, NYX does not provide much more detail than what I have already written above: "Your custom shade is just a Pro Foundation Mixer away! NYX Cosmetics' shade mixers are designed to adjust the tone, shade and finish of any liquid foundation, resulting in a truly perfect match."

What colors are offered and what do they do?
As mentioned before, there are currently six different versions of this product--four that change the shade of the foundation and two that change the finish. I only own the four that alter the shade of the foundation as those are more useful to myself and my kit. Because of that I will be relying on the information from the website to tell you what the other two do, so let's start of with those, shall we?

Opalescent - It is described as a "sheer white with opalescent shimmer". This one may lighten your foundation ever so slightly (nothing ridiculous), but it is meant to give your skin a nice sheen.

Luminous - It is described as a "champagne cream with gold undertone". If you are pale this may darken your foundation and turn the undertone a bit peachy. It will be better for medium to deep skintones and is meant to give you that glow from within look.
White - A pure white meant to lighten your foundation.
Olive - A dark beige with an olive undertone. Best used to give foundations a more yellow undertone. It will deepen up foundations slightly.
Warmth - A dark orange that can be used a couple of different ways: You can mix it with your concealer to create a corrector that counteracts dark spots OR you can use it to warm up the undertone of your foundation if you naturally have a more red undertone to your skin.
Deep - A deep blackened brown with a grey undertone. It can also be used in a variety of ways, such as deepening your foundation or creating a liquid/cream contour shade. May need to be combined with Warmth/Olive to bring foundation back to a natural skin tone.

How do you use them?
Using this product can be quite fun as it involves you being hands on in the experimental process and figuring out how much of each you need to get the best matching foundation possible. In my experience, the amount of mixer you will need to adjust the shade of your foundation directly depends on how thick & pigmented the base product already is. For instance, if I were using a thick, full coverage foundation like the Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation, using a 1:1 ratio of foundation to mixer will alter your foundation by only one shade. However, if I were altering the shade of a thin tinted moisturizer, a 1:1 ratio would have a much more drastic difference. The good thing is that as you're mixing your base "ingredients" together on the back of your hand or on a palette, you will be able to tell how off you are -- if you need to add a little more depth or warmth for example.

What are the benefits and what are the drawbacks?
Affordable alternative compared to having to purchase many foundation shades
Also great for creating corrector and contour colors
Squeeze tube allows you to control how much product you disperse
A little goes a long way

Doesn't change the consistency of the base product

If you are not already familiar with color theory or mixing foundations, there may be a learning curve
The shades "Deep" and "Warmth" may require you to purchase another shade to create an actual skin tone

What are my overall thoughts on this product?
The NYX Pro Foundation Mixers are a revolutionary product for the drugstore. I honestly never would have thought that such a mainstream brand would be considerate enough do this as it might mean consumers will buy less foundation, so kudos to them for doing so. That being said, this product is not necessarily beginner friendly. You may need to brush up a bit on color theory to figure out the best way to mix the shades, however, anyone can definitely use it with a little bit of patience and practice. Just for reference, I have shown an example above on how I mixed two of the pro foundation mixers with my foundation in order to get my perfect tanned shade. If I were to offer one bit of criticism, I do wish the Warmth shade were a tad more red and that the Deep shade were more neutral instead of grey, just because I find that when mixed with a foundation, they don't offer a natural skin tone on their own. Overall, though, I highly recommend this product. I don't think everyone needs it, but if you do need access to a variety of foundation shades at any given time, this will make for an excellent addition to your collection.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Affordable $3 Liquid Lipsticks: Born Pretty Store Review

Liquid lipsticks have been a part of professional makeup artist lines for years, but they have only recently taken the beauty industry by storm. Whether it is for their ease of convenience or their long-wearing capability, mainstream brands are hopping on the bandwagon left and right everyday. This has flooded the market with a variety of formulas, finishes, and price points--some of which cause us to marvel at their innovation and others which are just plain old not worth the money. In fact, brands like Colourpop and Nyx have brought the liquid lipstick game to the masses for just under $10, but what if I told you that there was an even more affordable alternative?

Born Pretty Store Waterproof Matte Velvet Lip Glosses (Left to Right): 14, 03, 12, 06, 04, & 33
Lip Swatches of the Born Pretty Store Waterproof Matte Velvet Lip Glosses
What are the Born Pretty Store Waterproof Matte Velvet Lip Glosses?
* Disclaimer: Though the name suggests that these are lip glosses, this product does in fact perform and feel very much like a matte liquid lipstick, so for the purpose of this review, I will treat them as such.
The Born Pretty Store Waterproof Matte Velvet Lip Glosses are liquid lipsticks that come in a very simple test tube-like packaging. There are a variety of shades and finishes ranging from frosty pastel nudes all the way to matte bright greens and blues. Though I am not entirely sure what the differences are, some shades cost $2.54 while others are as low as $1.99.

What colors do I have and how did they apply/wear?
In total I have tried out six shades for you guys. As with most brands, I did notice that the formula varied throughout the shades. The mattes wore much better than the frosts and pastels, but this is a very common problem. Also, I would like to note that this formula is very thin and drying in nature. The best way to apply them is right after you have thoroughly prepped your lips with a scrub and lip balm for at least 10 minutes beforehand. Doing this as well as applying them in light coats seemed to work best for me. Since each of the lipsticks are so different from one another, it is hard for me to pinpoint how much of the product you will need to coat your lips. Depending on the shade, it took 2-4 dips into the lipstick to fully coat my lips. However, I did not experience any feathering with these lipsticks and I did need to use a makeup remover to completely remove any trace remnants that were leftover.

So here are the shades and my experiences with them in order from lightest to darkest:
14 - Sheer pastel peach nude. My second least favorite out of the bunch--it applied very streaky and when you try to build up the opacity, it begins flaking off lips within minutes of application. 
03 - Matte, natural rosey pink. One of my favorites out of the bunch. It applied opaquely and felt very comfortable on the lips.
12 - Neon coral. Though it is a bright shade, it went on opaquely and not streaky like # 14. This is definitely a statement Summer lippie.
06 - Frosty fuschia-based pink. My absolute least favorite of all the lipstick shades I chose. The shade reminds me of a bad 80s color. It never fully dried down either and left lips with a slight tackiness. This caused the lipstick to become very patchy when I drank or smacked my lips together.
04 - Bright coral red. This shade has a slight sheen, but not nearly as frosty as # 06. It applied easily and opaquely and felt very comfortable, however, it never dried down completely, so that caused the inner rim of my mouth to wear off and become patchy easily.
33 - True red. This shade goes on fully opaque with two layers. Feels a little dry, but not uncomfortable. As with most dark liquid lipstick shades, the inner rim wore off noticeably, but the rest of the lipstick lasted a decent amount of time.

What are the pros?
Variety of colors to choose from
Very affordable
Matte shades perform well
Excellent customer service
Fruity scent

What are the cons?
Wand on applicator is a little too long and flimsy
Website and packaging do not indicate the ingredients used in product
Inconsistencies in formula throughout the line (some shades are sheer or remain tacky)
Not a long-wearing formula (lipstick flakes off)
Branding on packaging is different and inconsistent throughout
Website makes it difficult to see the shade variety all in one place

What are my overall thoughts on the products?
The Born Pretty Store Liquid Lipsticks remind me a great deal of ColourPop's formula as the shades will either be hit or miss. As you can probably tell I am not a big fan of the pastel or frosty shades as I just don't find them very flattering or wearable due to streakiness. The tackiness that I experienced with certain shades, on the other hand, is a lot easier of a problem to combat. By lightly dusting the lips with a translucent powder, your lips will be locked and loaded. So while my experience has been a little 50-50, I did enjoy four out of the six shades and recommend giving the matte shades a try, especially if you are on a budget or want access to a ton of colors at once. The website may be a bit tricky to navigate, but by typing 'lip gloss' into the search bar these liquid lipsticks will appear as the first few results. I have also linked the specific shades next to their descriptions above in case you are interested. Also, to receive 10% off of your order, use the coupon code 'WPH10' at checkout (I do not gain any commission off of your purchases; this is strictly for your benefit).


*The products in this post were sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Splurge Or Purge? Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 20 Plush Eyeshadow Palette In About Last Night (Holiday 2016) Review

Marc Jacobs Beauty introduced their Style Eye Con No 20 Palettes during the Holiday 2015 season and, much to my disappointment, the color selection was just not for me. However, when the promotional photos were released for Holiday 2016, I was in awe at how stunning this year's palette is. Not only does the palette seem more inspired and cohesive than last year's, but it is also decked out in gold friggin' packaging. How luxe does that sound, am I right? Needless to say, I have been playing around with this palette for the last couple of weeks now and I am so surprised not to see more reviews on it. As this is a big splurge for most of us, hopefully this review will serve as a good source of information for those of you who have been eyeballing the heck out of it as much as I was.

What is the Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 20 Palette?
The Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 20 Palette in 'About Last Night' is the eyeshadow palette component of their limited edition Holiday 2016 season. The twenty eyeshadows are arranged in five columns (Award Show, Evening Swag, Afterparty, About Last Night, and Just Like Us) to provide the wearer with some combinations for inspiration as well as accompanying face charts. Unlike last year, this year's packaging comes in an old gold rendition of the traditional black Marc Jacobs packaging. It is exclusively sold at Sephora and retails for $99.

What are the shade descriptions for the eyeshadows in the palette? 
Unfortunately, none of the shades in this palette have actual names. The shadows are, however, numbered from top to bottom and left to right by columns.
1 - ivory
2 - antique gold with green undertones
3 - true gold
4 - dark smokey purple
5 - medium warm brown with orange undertones
6 - rose gold with a hint of copper
7 - medium matte brown with gold micro glitter
8 - Dark charcoal brown
9 - light beige
10 - white with a blue shift
11 - gunmetal blue-grey
12 - dark smokey grey
13 - pastel lavender pink with a slight sheen
14 - taupe bronze
15 - medium taupe grey
16 - matte black with silver micro glitter
17 - champagne
18 - light mauve matte with silver micro glitter
19 - brown with a taupe-purple shift
20 - medium warm brown with a hint of mauve 

How do the shadows perform and wear?
Ever since I tried the Style Eye Con No 7 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in 'The Lolita', I have been a big fan of the Marc Jacobs shadow formula. While they are buttery smooth and pigmented, it is very hard to go overboard with them. The only thing missing, in my opinion, from the vast selection of shadows in this palette are his infamous chunky glitter shadows, which I was a fan of using as sparkly toppers. Also, while I never have an issue with the blendability and overall wear of Marc Jacobs' eyeshadows, on a day when my eyelids were particularly dry and had some texture, I did notice it took significantly longer for me to blend out my eyeshadow. Other than that, the eyeshadows perform extremely well and last all day on my lids without any irritation.

What are my final thoughts?
While $99 may seem like a splurge, when you consider that the Marc Jacobs seven-pan palettes are $59 a pop, these holiday palettes are actually a steal, especially for such a highend luxury brand. From the eyeshadow to the packaging, I think the quality and thought put into this palette is phenomenal. Above all else, however, my absolute favorite aspect about this palette is the versatility that can take you from day to night. The only thing missing is a lighter transition shade, but shade number five will suffice if you use a light hand. Honestly, I don't think anyone would be disappointed in the quality of these eyeshadows unless, as I mentioned before, you have dry textured lids. In that case, I would recommend using a very hydrating eye cream and a dimethicone-based eye primer to prep beforehand. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this palette to anyone wanting an introduction to Marc Jacobs eyeshadows or someone who simply wants to treat themselves this holiday.

Makeup Deets
Brows - Milani Brow Fix Kit in Light
Eyeshadow - Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con No 20 Plush Eyeshadow Palette in About Last Night (shades 5, 9, 13, 20, 8, & 2)
Eyeliner - Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Waterproof Eye Pencil in M-10
Lashes - Ardell Wispies in 600
Foundation - L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte in 103
Concealer - LA Girl Pro Conceal in Porcelain
Highlight - Nars Illuminator in Copacabana topped with Wet n Wild Highlighter in Hollywood Boulevard
Bronzer - L'Oreal Glam Bronze in Medium
Blush - Too Faced Love Flush Blush in I Will Always Love You
Lips - Essence Lip Liner in In The Nude and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Dolce